Cog Notes: Primary school start-ups have teachers’ approval

More than 10,000 primary school children took part in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme last year

Photograph: Thinkstock

Photograph: Thinkstock

 

A free entrepreneurship programme in primary schools got the thumbs-up from Irish teachers who are using it. More than 10,000 primary school children on both sides of the Border took part last year in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme, the only national programme promoting entrepreneurship at primary school level.

Teachers surveyed in more than 330 schools said the programme supported subjects in the curriculum, particularly maths, science, English and literacy skills, but also visual arts and ICT. Some 87 per cent of teachers saw an increase in confidence in children, and 66 per cent said it improved communication skills and teamwork.

Primary pupils created businesses in arts, crafts and design (48 per cent ), food and drinks (23 per cent), and print and publishing (12 per cent), with management, marketing, sales and finance teams in each company. They generated revenue, and, in most cases, profit (some reinvested their profits, others split them, averaging €50 each, and others donated to charity).

The free programme was devised in Kerry by Jerry Kennelly of Mary Immaculate College as academic partner , and supported by many entrepreneurs. It is aligned with the primary curriculum and takes an integrated teaching and project-based approach. Parents, teachers and schools can find out more or sign up atjunior entrepreneur.ie.

And for grown-up entrepreneurs, the Spirit of Entrepreneurship event at GMIT Mayo in Castlebar is on Tuesday, September 29th. It will feature one-to-one mentoring, public panel discussions, pitching sessions and company showcases. The event is targeted at those with a start-up idea or start-up investors in the west and northwest. spiriteventwest.com

 

Young scientists must be quick

They are just barely back at school, but students and their teachers need to get their skates on if they’re thinking of making next year’s deadline date of September 29th for Young Scientist.

The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is a great opportunity for shortlisted students, who take part in the January exhibition in the RDS, Dublin, and may win one of more than 120 student, teacher and school awards. Students can enter as individuals or a group, by uploading a one-page proposal outlining their idea, in one of four categories: technology, social and behavioural science, biological and ecological science, or chemical, physical and mathematical science. Enter on btyoungscientist.com.

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